Thursday Sept 6, 2018 Berlin to Prague
We had decided to leave two of our suitcases at the luggage locker in Prague rather than carrying them to the Airbnb that we had booked there. I had accordingly repacked the suitcases. In the morning I quickly made the OPOS Khichadi before packing the induction stove and cooker for the Prague trip. I had already decided on what we were making in Prague so I portioned out the rice and other spices, packing the rest of the dry rations into the suitcases that we planned to leave in the luggage locker.
We had already scoped out the easiest way to reach the Berlin Hauptbahnhof and we took the U5 to Alexanderplatz and changed there to the S-Bahn. We did end up using the wrong elevator to reach the wrong platform but we quickly went to the right one. We reached the Berlin Hauptbahnhof by 9.50 am and our train to Prague was at 11.08 am. We first identified the ticket collection centre and I found a helpful customer service agent who managed to tell me how to get the token from the machine. I then waited in the queue till my token number was called. The lady at the counter printed off our ticket to Prague and the return ticket as well.
When we got out of the DB ticket printing place, we saw that the luggage lockers were on the opposite side on the same level. We went there to see if we could leave the two suitcases here rather than in Prague. Again, a young boy who could speak English and German helped us with the lady agent there who couldn’t speak English. She immediately helped us by getting the 10 Euro note converted to 2 Euro coins which is what the locker accepts. As I lifted the two suitcases into the locker, she looked at Krishnan and said in German “you look like a strong man, why aren’t you lifting the bags and letting your wife do it?”. Before I could indicate to her that Krishnan has a back issue and he shouldn’t be lifting very heavy bags, Krishnan used his non-verbal communication skills and explained the same thing to her. She laughed and let him go. We all laughed at the whole thing and we thanked her profusely for helping us. Well, who said you need language to communicate ??
We happily walked up to our platform to wait for our train, with much lighter luggage. Just as we got onto the platform, I felt a pinprick just above my right elbow and realised I was bit by something. As I swatted at it, it turned out to be a wasp. Germany has these wasps hovering over the sweet stuff in all the bakeries and over all the trashcans. The bite is harmless, just that the area around it got reddened and itchy.
The train arrived ten minutes before its departure time and the coaches were numbered haphazardly. We managed to find our coach and sat down in our seats. The seats are very comfortable with charging points and the train has wifi. We had another couple joining us in our compartment – Mark and Gail from Australia. We learnt that one gets three months vacation if you worked for a singly organization long enough (10 years, I think). So Mark was enjoying his three months vacation. I immediately wanted to immigrate to Australia and then realised that we are anyway on a permanent vacation now that both of us have quit our regular corporate jobs. We chatted with Mark and Gail all the way to Prague and hopefully didn’t bore them. I managed to write the notes for one of my blogs on the way and Krishnan took some amazing pictures and shot a video of the train going at 160 Kmph.
We got off at the Prague station and following our Airbnb host’s directions we took a tram to go to her place. Found the Airbnb easily and it was on a beautiful street. We couldn’t resist taking a selfie.
We checked into the beautiful Airbnb apartment and went out to the nearby Flora mall to get some supplies. Came back and made Bombay style sandwich for dinner and watched the news briefly after nearly three weeks of no TV. The little that we saw of Prague on this day was so stunning … we were very happy with our decision to celebrate our anniversary here.